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Old 06-23-07, 03:17 PM   #1
Digital Gee
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Ebay...addiction or pasttime?

I haven't been on ebay in years, really. Seems my last sale was in 2002, and my last purchase was in 2001.

Every once in a while I do a search for something there, but I haven't had much interest. Today, for whatever reason, I was on ebay looking at lenses for my camera. And suddenly -- WHAM! I realize that I'm getting all jittery, my insides are turning out, I'm beginning to drool, and I realize I may be only one winning bid away from a new addiction.

What's the story with ebay these days? You folks using it? Avoiding it? Any lessons to pass along? I notice they don't even tell you who's bidding any more. Wonder what else has changed?
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Old 06-23-07, 03:45 PM   #2
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Dropped out of e-bay a few months age. Screwed up my order big time and then I got the bum rap for it. I order a 20x 25 tarp and the guy sent me a 18X20. I sent it back and said I'm not paying for it. Anyhow they may have some good deals, but I didn't want the hassle. If there is a mistake, it seems like your the one that's always wrong until you prove otherwise.
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Old 06-23-07, 05:34 PM   #3
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It doesn't seem like the deals are as good as they were 2-3 years ago. I used to haunt Ebay for Frames at the end of the model year to build into bikes for friends but lately it seems that the factory end of year overstock is going to bigger dealers. Many of them are in Hong Kong which raises the shipping price and lowers the value.

Perhaps its just a phase and will turn again but I fear that as with all things, fame and fortune has begun to bring the Ebay experience down.

There are still several internet bike shops that sell parts at terrific value if you are patient.
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Old 06-23-07, 05:36 PM   #4
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I'm very, very sporadic. With 3 college tuitions I've got to get better at selling and unloading some stuff rather than buying!!
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Old 06-23-07, 05:45 PM   #5
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I look fairly frequently when I am looking to buy something, but I always google the items too, and lots of times you can beat e-bay prices. I have bought 2 bikes and sold 1 on e-bay since November and all of those sales worked just fine.
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Old 06-23-07, 06:27 PM   #6
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I made about $ 5K total 3 years ago, thats how I got my more expensive Bikes. But I don't think I could do it again - BTW got 100% fav. over 450+ inputs
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Old 06-23-07, 06:35 PM   #7
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Just bought my bike on ebay this spring and have 725 miles on it, a personal record for me. I haven't had any problems at all on ebay. On the other hand, when I'm looking for something, I tend to get obsessed and spend WAY too much time following auctions and figuring out what my best price would be. My bike, i did a "buy it now" just to get it over with. A few weeks later I looked at some similar completed auctions and figured I could have possibly saved another $100 (but also found some similar that went for more than I spent.) I now almost always just look at buy it now prices rather than get into bidding.
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Old 06-23-07, 06:37 PM   #8
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I have slowed way down. I think that a lot of folks don't know the real value of things and they overbid. Also, a whole lot of cheap, but sort of adequate looking bike products simply clutter up the searches, so you have to sort through things too much. It gets tiresome. Also, the shipping is way too high in comparison with Nashbar and PerformanceBike.

But, I did buy 48 brand new Gillette Mach 3 razor blades for 1/2 the price at our local store just this last week.
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Old 06-23-07, 06:47 PM   #9
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I'm not comfortable with eBay. I don't like bidding on things. I'd much rather buy from a real store and avoid the hassle, even if it costs a bit more. I did, with great reluctance, buy something there once as a favor to a Canadian friend who wanted something that the seller would only ship to the US, Wretched process. I've not used eBay since. On the whole, I prefer root canal work.

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Old 06-23-07, 08:41 PM   #10
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Finding a good bargain is an American addiction not just yours. I have been buying less and less on ebay. When 105 9 speed brifters go above retail you know it is time to move on. There are more buyers and the sellers have the upper hand. Maybe Google will start a real auction where sellers can't pull auctions for no known reason and try to charge outragous freight for a couple of gram part.
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Old 06-23-07, 08:55 PM   #11
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I use e-bay very sparingly and never for purchases more than $100. It's a quick way to
find odd items to round out a Lionel, Marx, Winross, etc. collection. Found some Alenax
Transbars on there last Autumn too. I don't consider myself crafty enough to outsmart scammers so I shy away from high cost transactions.
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Old 06-23-07, 08:56 PM   #12
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I quit e-bay about a year ago. A couple of purchases were misrepresented, and I never really got them squared away. Also, it really seems like the era of the hidden discovery are gone. Too many people looking for too many niche items. I don't miss it at all. A friend of mine got a high end carbon frame last week, and it's just good enough, condition-wise, for him not to return it. But it wasn't what it was represented to be. That seems to be pretty typical these days.
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Old 06-23-07, 09:25 PM   #13
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I still use ebay on a limited basis. It has become sort of a botique for limited available items for my old bikes. As an example, where else can I find a Reynolds 531 decal for under $5. I used to spend my lunch time searching for bicycling bargains. But I've given up because there are very few bargains anymore. Craigslist, in my area, is much more intersting and I get to see the item before I buy it.
As for selling, I only sell on Craigslist, never on ebay.
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Old 06-23-07, 09:32 PM   #14
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I have made about a dozen E-bay purchases (none of them bike-related), and all were very good experiences. I only search for items I am looking for anyway. When I bid, I decide on the highest price I am willing to pay and stick with it, just like shopping in a regular store. I'm fairly frugal anyway so I won't bid a lot. If I don't win, I figure it wasn't meant to be. I've bought mainly household items and also a camera to replace the one that was stolen in a break-in (no, it wasn't the same one!).

The only thing I did not like was the way many people have their bidding set up to outbid you at the last second. There are tools that will do that for them while they are away doing something else. That seems like dirty pool to me and I'm not competitive enough (nor shrewd enough) to try to out-smart them. If it's meant to be mine through fair play, it will be.
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Old 06-23-07, 09:45 PM   #15
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I've had good luck on ebay....mostly bike stuff that was getting hard to find. Maybe a dozen purchases mostly under $50. I've sniped and been sniped. It is a bit heady towards the end....the object itself sometimes taking back seat to the acquiring of it. The sport of the hunt! And my prize....a nice set of jockey wheels I saved $2.00 on or something equally prize-worthy. Hah!!
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Old 06-23-07, 09:48 PM   #16
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I've purchased 12 items on eBay, with no problems, but have never sold anything. I agree with the other posters...the prices aren't always so great. I see eBay as a handy place to find obscure items that would be almost impossible to find locally.
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Old 06-23-07, 10:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis
I see eBay as a handy place to find obscure items that would be almost impossible to find locally.
I agree... that's what I go there for.
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Old 06-23-07, 11:40 PM   #18
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Hundreds of items here. But it is too perfect of a market. Everything goes for close to what it's worth. Good for seller maybe, but if it's not good for both there won't be a market. I mostly use it for items not available elsewhere, or weird stuff (example: found a replacement 5 iron for my discontinued set).
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Old 06-23-07, 11:43 PM   #19
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(and I admit to bidding sometimes on items that I don't necessarily want but it is going so cheap... and sometimes thinking I'm shilling it up for the seller.)
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Old 06-24-07, 07:05 AM   #20
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Have never used ebay. One of my colleagues at work is addicted and the atmosphere really gets charged around Christmastime each year. She checks her merchandise at least once an hour and every time she sees a bid slipping away there are shrieks of agony

I want to see what a I'm buying for the most part, but will order books and music from Amazon. I suppose I might try ebay if I was searching for one specific must-have item.

Ally
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Old 06-24-07, 07:12 AM   #21
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I pretty much only set up search lists. I've been looking for a particular 1985 game for the mac for about 6 years now. It emails me whenever the game shows up, but it's never for the mac. You have to set up your search carefully, though, to include sellers who aren't good about specifying things, so don't be too* confining in your parameters.
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Old 06-24-07, 08:09 AM   #22
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I've bought a fair amount of bike gear on Ebay. You can find jerseys and jackets at good prices slightly use, I've bought several jerseys for under $10 like new. I DON'T buy used shorts, tho.

I try and stick with sellers that have perfect feedback, preferably on hundreds of transactions. No problems so far. I see it(ebay) as just another means, along with LBS and mail order, to feed the REAL addiction (cycling).
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Old 06-24-07, 08:22 AM   #23
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Things I've purchased on Ebay that were good buys:
Two sets of M520 pedals.
One set of A520 pedals.
One Manitou Platinum Air Fork (but I bought another for less on Nashbar about a year later).
A Park bike repair stand.
Several jerseys.
My Garmin 305 plus the accoutrements.
A Kurt Kinetic trainer.

I have also bought some total junk, the worst being a heart monitor sold as a floor display but in reality it had seen a lot of action and fell apart soon after I got it.

When I was shopping for bikes, I noticed that in common frame sizes there didn't seem to be any real bargins, especially when you included shipping, servicing, upgrades, etc.
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Old 06-24-07, 08:33 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baroque
Have never used ebay. One of my colleagues at work is addicted and the atmosphere really gets charged around Christmastime each year. She checks her merchandise at least once an hour and every time she sees a bid slipping away there are shrieks of agony Ally
Interesting comment about Christmas. I found there is one great time to buy bike stuff on ebay, late December. It seems cyclist buy early and if the item hasn't sold by mid-December, the bids just don't come in. I picked up a used, but great shape Shimano cycling jersey for $5 and last year a 2004, Fox, F-100 RS in great shape for $200. I haven't found another for anything close to that. The problem is, having the patience to wait until Christmas when you want it now for this season.
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Old 06-24-07, 03:07 PM   #25
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I've had mostly good experiences and no really bad ones. I've bout a few dozen things, mostly bike stuff. I've sold several items. Last year I sold several bike parts I just never got around to using and an old tandem. I made enough to pay for the Rockhopper I got for racing.

There are still bargains out there, but they are not as prevalent as they were just a couple of years ago. You just have to know what things are worth and control yourself. It can get out of hand if you let it.
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